Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I'm Alive!

Have you ever watched that
television show called
"I'm Alive"   ?
It's about people who have experienced
a deadly situation and lived to tell about it.

My sister Linda and I were talking
the other night about all the silly things
we did when we were kids-
and we were thinking maybe we
might be good candidates for the next episode.

Oh, sure...
our situations weren't quite as horrific
or terrifying,
but it makes for a suitable blog.

So, roll with it.

Anyway, my sister brought up the
memory about our camping expeditions.
Well, not expeditions, really-
just neighborhood sleep overs-
in a tent -
without total parental supervision.

This tiny window of unsupervised opportunity
gave us reign of the entire nighttime world
for miles around.
And were just young teenagers (11-13?)
that were free to fly!!

(I can't recall even one time
that we actually crawled into
our sleeping bags and slept.)

Don't think badly of us-
there was Gwen and Jean and Barbara
who forced us to follow their lead.
And if you're sleeping in their yard-
they're the queen of rule making.

They   Jean   We all decided to
walk a half mile to the grade school
at midnight and play on the swings.
Now- keep in mind that we were teenagers
and we would never even look
at those swings in daylight-
much less actually swing them.

But there's something about a few
Coca-Colas and Frito's and bologna sandwiches
that can make young girls do strange things.
So, there we went-
down the sidewalk in the dark-
dive-bombing in ditches and bushes
whenever a car would pass
or a porch light would pop on.

We swung on the swings
and straddled the teeter totters
and slid down that slicky slide
with the night air in our faces
and not a fear in the world.


We heard a loud car nearby.

One of those souped-up muscle cars
that were usually driven by bad boys
that smoked and drank and did nasty things.

We froze.
Only for a moment.
And then we ran!
Hoping to get home to the safety
of that sweet little tent
before we were captured by
a Fonzie on dope.

The driver kept going around every block-
down every road-
as though he was looking for something.
Could he have seen us?
Our innocent, virgin selves
as we simply enjoyed the playground
after midnight?

Linda was the fastest
and there was no stopping her long legs
from sprinting across the fields
toward the campsite.

But Jean and Gwen and Barbara and I were in tow-
heaving great breaths of panic-
our hearts beating like Ringo's drum
beneath our sweatshirts and training bras.

Once we were even close enough to
hear the guy cough-
and we stayed frozen behind a bush
as he lit a cigarette and idled his GTO.

by a heaven sent miracle-
we all made it back to Jean's house.
There was Linda-
hiding in-between the back door
and the screen-
panting like a dog in summer.
She had lost a flip flop
and the rest of us had some minor scrapes-
but we survived!

After that night, our expeditions
were carried out in the safety of the yard.
We played shadow tag and told ghost stories
and drank sodies like they were beer.
And we were good girls
that had no desire
to venture out into the night.

Linda and I laugh about it now.
Imagining how we must have looked then-
running like gazelles for our lives-
grungy from too-little sleep
and an overdose of adrenaline.

But, we're alive!

And, that, my friends... is priceless.